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Helping a sibling

My brother is 58 years old and has never held on to a job very long.  He has nothing but a travel trailer that his girlfriend owns set up on land my father owns.  He presently lives with our aging parents and works at Walmart.  he’s never paid rent or taxes on the land.  he’s restless, inappropriate at times, struggles with addictions and claims he has no problems.  he doesn’t come to family dinners ( we have a large family) and retreats to his room when family visits mom & dad.  My son and I have been diagnosed with ADHD & ADD and I suspect he may struggle with it too.  One brother thinks he’s just lazy and I can’t defend him without a diagnosis.  He won’t talk about anything personal and won’t take meds for his depression which he was diagnosed with before his first marriage failed.  He probably would be homeless if it wasn’t for all the handouts mom & dad have given him.  Are we responsible to take care of him after mom and dad pass away.  It’s the only thing he;s used to.  Is it fair to the other four siblings who have struggled to make their way that he be given more? I need perspective.

Replies

Unless he is actually incapable of working, he needs to begin to care about himself and his future.  If he rejects all suggestions, then you may have to “leave him to God.”

Your parents have not helped him by giving him what he needs and wants.  He is now ‘spoiled” and will expect that help to continue.  After your parents are gone, he will come begging to the softest hearted sibling he has.

You may need to talk to your parents to explain how things will work when they are gone, but doing so could cause a family fight.  Your parents want to protect their grown child.  The other children want this one to grow the hack, up.

In reality, it may be too late.  If he has no interest in saving himself then it may prove difficult to change his mind.

It will take expensive rehabilitation to get him “dried out” from the addictions.  Is the family prepared for that?  Can your parents afford that?  Your state may have low cost or free assistance, but those are usually a ‘one time” thing.

Talk to your other siblings.  What are their feelings?  Will they help if help is needed?

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Jul 08, 2014 at 5:03am

Hi Happy Days,

You are your brother’s keeper only if you love him. As to defending him, if you love him, there is no need.

Between the lines I sense that you care and, at a deeper level, you understand this quiet and gentle, maligned person who is testing your sense of humanity.

You did not say he was bad. Is he bad, or mean? Does he deserve neglect?

I am sensing a troubled, inoffensive soul who has touched your heart. He has touched mine.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Jul 16, 2014 at 1:01am

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